I thought I’d take this Friday post to update you all on the random money goings-on around the EPF household. We are gearing up for our first financial transition, moving from the apartment Kyle’s lived in for 5 years (and I for 2 years) to a townhouse that’s both cheaper and closer to school and church. In addition we’ve had some other small bumps in the road and changes and are looking forward to some travel, so I’m collecting all of these little things into an update post.
I’m keeping track of all of our moving-related costs for a future post, but there really haven’t been many so far.
- application fee – paid
- security deposit (refundable) – paid
- overlapping rent (1 week) – wrote the check yesterday
- rental truck (around $55 + gas and per mile costs) – tomorrow
- pizza for the people helping us move – tomorrow
- water deposit $50 (refundable??) – will come with our first bill so probably not until October
- adding my car back to our insurance for 1 day to move it (< $1) – not sure when we’ll be billed
How our utility costs will shake out will remain uncertain for a couple months. We’re going from all-electric to electricity and gas and we don’t know if that will ultimately save or cost additional money. I looked up how much internet will be at our new address with our same (monopoly) company, and it’s going to be about $20/month less! So even if gas/electric end up being a little higher we’ll probably be paying less overall in utilities.
One of the ways we can help repay ourselves for our moving costs is by selling some of the household and personal items that have become obsolete, like our washer and dryer and possible ceiling fans. This apparently isn’t going to happen pre-move so I hope I can stay on the ball and sell/donate/throw away a bunch of stuff right after the move.
New Credit Cards
We actually opened TWO new credit cards in the last month! That’s crazy for us as we haven’t opened a new card in about two years.
We opened a new credit card a couple weeks ago with CapitalOne because we wanted to fill the “no foreign transaction fees” perk hole in our current set of cards in advance of our trip to Canada in a couple weeks. After my analysis of whether or not we should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, we ultimately decided to get a no-fee cash rewards card with a low minimum to get the (small) signup bonus. The crazy thing is the that credit limit on this card alone basically doubles our overall available credit. I guess we haven’t worked that hard to raise the credit limits on our current cards? (Not that this functionally matters, only for credit score tweaking.)
We also opened an Amazon (affiliate link – thanks for using!) credit card to get a free Kindle. It’s also a rewards card, actually, and has better points on dining than we’re getting with our other cards (aside from that quarter for the Freedom card), so we might use it for non-Amazon purchases from time to time.
It looks like I waited a bit too long to confirm my Republic Wireless invitation so it doesn’t seem I’ll be getting my new smartphone anytime soon – probably in a few months. I hope my dumphone holds out that long. Once we shell out for the phone, it will take a bit less than 1.5 years to break even over my current plan and after that it’s very cheap.
This week I WASHED KYLE’S SMARTPHONE and our efforts to resurrect it have been futile. We’re doing okay so far without any smartphones but our Canada trip is in a couple weeks and we may need to replace his phone by then so we don’t have to rely on maps and random wireless as much. His contract is over so he has the choice to get into another one (he doesn’t really care for them) to help with the upfront costs of the phone itself or not. He’s talking about getting an iPhone (surprising since he’s sort of anti-Apple) and if that ends up being the decision he’ll definitely get into a contract. I have no idea if that will be more or less expensive than what he’s currently paying. I’m also not sure if he should cancel his current plan since the phone is dead…?
Travel and Personal Gifts Targeted Savings Account
As always, I’m looking forward to the next few months to see how our Targeted Savings account will do.
Our current balance is $600 and in the next couple weeks we have to pay our Canada trip ($550 for flights + $100 for hostel + $? for rental car, food, and Niagara Falls entertainment). I also expect us to spend about $800 on Christmas flights and $400 on gifts. I don’t know of any other significant travel we’ll be doing this fall that isn’t covered by our university – maybe $60 for gas for Thanksgiving driving – so we really just need to plan for the expenses I listed.
Between September and December we’re projected to save $1200 into our Travel and Personal Gifts account, so that won’t quite cover all these plans. Once we get back from Canada we’ll know exactly how much we’ll need to save, but it will probably be around $150/month extra. Yikes! If we’re able to sell some stuff in the move that will help pay those costs back faster and we can divert the rent savings to our Travel account that much faster.
What tidbits of financial changes have you experienced recently?